Podcast

Unhidden: Kristen Nichols, Hemp Industry Daily

Kristen Nichols
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Kathryn Blume 2 Sep 2019

Heady Vermont’s hemp trade show, Hemp Fest, is coming up this weekend on Saturday, September 7, and our keynote speaker is Kristen Nichols, editor at Hemp Industry Daily.

In this episode of Unhidden, Nichols talks about the ongoing arc of hemp legalization, and where she sees the industry headed – particularly in light of less than detailed federal guidance.

You can listen here, or read the transcript below.

Kathryn Blume: You have arrived at Unhidden, produced by Heady Vermont, we’re all about bringing cannabis in all its forms out of the Dark Ages of prohibition, and into the light of the world which can definitely use some help from this awesome plant. I’m your host Kathryn Blume.

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One of the big events of the Heady Vermont year is Hemp Fest, our annual hemp trade show at Burke Mountain Hotel in the northeast corner of the state. This year, our keynote speaker for Hemp Fest – coming up rapidly on September 7th – is Kristen Nichols, Editor at Hemp Industry Daily. Kristen, who pretty much spends all of her days talking to folks in every aspect of the US hemp industry, is a powerhouse of knowledge and perspective, and talking to her is kind of like jumping into a giant pool of very smart water.

Kristen was also kind enough to record our conversation in Hemp Industry Daily’s high tech podcast booth. But due to a miscommunication on my part, she didn’t realize she needed to record my side of the conversation. So, rather than an interview, think of this episode as basically sound bites from Kristen. I have faith that you’re all smart enough to glean any necessary but unspoken context. At any rate, please welcome to your ears Kristen Nichols.

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Kristen Nichols: I feel like everybody has a cannabis origin story, and mine is on the farm. I was an agricultural reporter for many years, always covered state government. And then when the state legislature was done, covered agriculture in my home state of Georgia. Then when I was in Maryland, I covered aquaculture like crab and oyster in the East and fisheries. I moved to Colorado and Colorado doesn’t really grow a lot. It’s a mining and ranching state.

So, when I moved here about in ’08, the cannabis industry was just starting to take off. I thought it was fascinating because it’s plants, it’s farming, so I’ve been covering it for a long time, but I hopped full time into only hemp in 2017. It was clear that this was a big booming part of the industry and going to be where a lot of excitement was happening. I can get out of boring state politics and focus only on the exciting cannabis plant.

It’s the farming side. I like to write about cultivation issues it’s – a lot of folks in cannabis are new to traditional agriculture whether they’re greenhouse growers or outdoor growers. But there’s a level lessons to take. It’s basically a plant like a lot of other plants. There’s a time – it’s a flowering plant, right. And so, your job when you’re a producer is to make sure the plants flower how you want them and get them to market where the flowers are in their best shape and still looking good. There’s a lot of other produce producers and ornamental flower producers who have the exact same issue, and so that really fascinates me.

I was recently at a greenhouse working in hemp that also produces poinsettias for the Christmas holiday season and they talked a lot of about hey they’ve got- that’s also a persnickety plant. You need to get it all to flower at the exact same time and then get that to every Walmart – Target grocery store in a region and have the plant still looking good when you get there. So, there’s a lot of interesting skills to it that can translate over. Sure, there’s also a lot that’s very unique to cannabis. So I really like to really dig into how to cultivate this plant, what challenges folks are facing and the fascinating solutions they’re coming up with to solve the problems of producing a plant that most folks have — We’ve of course been growing cannabis for thousands of years but most folks have been growing it in the basement, in the backyard, small amounts for them and friends. We really don’t have kind of the commercial global cannabis anywhere till just in the last couple of years.

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There’s a common belief that I want to debunk. There’s a common belief that the drug war killed hemp. We used to grow a lot of hemp, why don’t we grow hemp anymore? It’s because of the drug war and because it’s like it’s the same plant that makes marijuana. I say that is not true. I think the drug war was maybe the nail in the coffin but what truly killed hemp as a commercial crop in this country was the industrial revolution; the invention of the steam ship, the invention of synthetic fabrics.

We just don’t use almost any natural fabrics the way we did before we had synthetics and we certainly don’t need sail ships anymore to move things around the world. So, even though this country banned hemp production in the Controlled Substances Act, which was 1971. But then—we had not been growing any commercial quantities of hemp for at least 20 years before that. So, hemp was not something that folks were really finding any use for really same as kenaf or jute – just really small niche crops.

The revolution here is the discovery of new cannabinoids and the cannabis flower. Again, a lot of folks thinks, “Oh, what’s the difference between hemp and marijuana?” Well, there’s lots of different cannabinoids that the flower makes. If they don’t have a lot of a certain cannabinoids, we consider it hemp and not marijuana. THC is the intoxicating cannabinoid.
We’re just discovering all these hundreds of cool cannabinoids in this flower, what they do, and how we use them. So, when you say there’s lots of different, there’s medical use, there’s recreational use, there’s people making of fabrics and carpet out of— There’s this all different levels.

It’s kind of like thinking about a tree or— oak tree or a rose bush. There’s a million different kinds that play a million different roles and there’s so many cool things you can do with all of them. But I think of course our position here at Hemp Industry Daily and I think a lot of people are coming around to this position is that the plant should be legal, the plant has a lot of interesting things in it. Whether it’s going to cure cancer and save the world, I don’t know. However, there are things that are of value that we’re just discovering and it’s really exciting as a consumer and as a reporter to see the development of all the cool things this plant can do that we didn’t know about even a generation ago.

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To understand frankly why we don’t wear hemp, you have to understand why we don’t wear cotton, why we wear synthetics. Where do all the fabrics and industrial components in our life come from? And there’s reasons they come from where they come from, and frankly, I think without intervention from governments— we will see that. For example, in the EU, there are increasing standards for using renewable elements in automobile production. So, you’re seeing companies very interested in looking at hemp and other natural components that they can use in the manufacture of automobiles. At the same time, not a lot of cars are made in Europe and without that action from the government, I’m not sure how much private industry would pivot.

However, I think it’s important to point out that this is a topic that the public is increasingly concerned about; looking at green production standards, looking at where elements in their house come from. I was talking to a company in Arizona just the other day that is working on filters like air filters that you would put in your basement, filters in your HVAC, making those out of hemp. Again, it’s not price competitive with the current things on the market now, but Home Depot and others are super interested because consumers are interested. I think there is an increasing desire for things that are sustainable.

It’s not necessarily true that just because it’s made from hemp. It’s somehow better for the environment. There are some arguments that it depends really how it’s made, just like anything, depends really how it’s made, but I think it’s super exciting. I think the potential is there but I think right now, it’s mostly in the future. We surveyed hemp farmers about a year ago. Looks like upwards of 85 to 90 percent of the hemp grown in this country is for the flower, for the cannabinoids, not for industrial components.

There are some things that I think are commonly misunderstood about the cannabis plant. Number one, you talk about hemp fiber. People say frequently that it takes less water. Fewer pesticides— that it’s a superior fiber to other fibers. However, that’s once you take it out of the ground, right now, the technology we have to turn that big nice hemp stock into usable fiber is not environmentally friendly. There’s not really any great ways to do it, to decorticate. That’s why you see most fiber production coming from places with different environmental standards that we have in the US.

I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of water retting. They want to go too much of a side tangent but when George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and all the founding fathers grew hemp, they did water retting which is kind of like a cranberry bog. You just cut the hemp, flood the field and then the outside comes off, and underneath, you have these nice fibers. Well that’s all fine and good. That causes a horrific phosphorus discharge and all kinds of chemicals.

Water retting is not legal anywhere in the US, not legal anywhere in the EU, not legal in much of the world. It’s legal in China. A lot of people might think that hemp is friendlier to the environment but water retting certainly isn’t and we’re working on ways to manufacture or ways to decorticate and get those hemp fibers in a more environmentally friendly manner but that’s again, R and D– I think it’s coming but we’re not there yet.

So, a lot of things that you can do with hemp which are awesome like bioplastics and biofuels and all these kinds of applications— you guys have probably heard of. All that stuff that you can do with hemp, you can do with any silage. You could do with corn stocks, you could do with again kenaf or jute, you could do with lots of other plants that don’t make cannabinoids.
So, what hemp is, and what happened cannabis is, I do think that their potential mostly is in kind of the health and wellness sector. Certainly, everything plays an element in helping us to be more a less carbon heavy society. But I don’t know that any one plant is like … Aha, snap our fingers and this is going to solve it all.

I should tell you that I grew up in Georgia, which means that I spent huge hours of my childhood chopping kudzu out of the backyard. If you don’t know what kudzu is, kudzu is a plant that was brought to this country to help with soil erosion, help restore big parts of the South that were destroyed or had soil destruction from overproduction of cotton. And then, it’s an invasive and took over, and now, it’s turned all kinds of sideways.

Our human history, sadly, is full of examples where we find a plant, find an animal, think,”Aha this is the solution to big problem here.” Let’s introduce the species to somewhere where it’s not native to the America’s hemp. Cannabis is not native to the Americans. Was not in the Americas before about 1600s and think it’s going to save the world. Well, you don’t know what it’s going to do. It’s an invasive.

So, I think it’s important to just temper a little bit expectations that we’re all going to get rich and we’re all going to save the world at the same time. I think there’s real exciting potential, but I think to have a more holistic, ecological sense of where this plant fits in. There’s lots of plants that sequester carbon. There’s lots of plants that metabolize toxins in the soil the way hemp does, the way cannabis does. So, there’s exciting potential but I don’t think it’s unique in the plant world to cannabis.

I don’t think people are starry eyed about the potential for cannabinoids. Again, these are new discoveries. Ten years ago, even the biggest cannabis kind of sore could not have told you what CBD or CBG or CBN or all of cannabinoids were. We’re discovering new cannabinoids every day. I think there’s a great potential and this for human medicine, but I don’t think that one plant does everything for everybody.

I say that if you want to know why hemp became legal, you have three words: Tobacco state Republicans. You cannot separate the excitement and interest in this crop from what’s going on in the rest of agriculture and what’s going on in the rest of the economy. American farmers right now are sitting on billions – and I mean billions with the ‘B’ – billions of dollars of the soybeans they cannot sell because of a trade war with China. We are seeing almost record low commodity prices in corn, wheat, cotton, potatoes, you name the commodity and farmers are not great — not doing great.

I just talking to someone in Wisconsin. There are something like 100 dairies going out of business every day in Wisconsin because of difficulties in that market. So, there’s a big– and I think the reason is that it’s coming around as you see again tobacco state Republicans in Congress, really, who might be suspicious of cannabis broadly but there are places that are used to growing tobacco, looking for a replacement to that commodity crop. And as soon as they see the profit potential, you have senators like Mitch McConnell of Kentucky who not a friend of drug reformers but is absolutely the biggest champion in the Congress for hemp. So, seeing market potential, seeing a way to get farmers making money again per acre. Again, I know that we’re probably going to see some price pressure. But right now, why we’re seeing the change frankly is just looking for help to help the American farmer I think.

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I jokingly sometimes say I spend all day talking to farmers who don’t know anything about cannabis or talking to cannabis growers who don’t know anything about farming. There definitely is a meeting of the mind, and it doesn’t happen overnight. But I will tell you in every single state after state after state, state departments of ag and state land grant universities that have the big ag and engineering schools are really the plowing big resources into figuring out these questions of what do you need to scale.

A lot of folks who are in this industry – and this is very true of marijuana as well – a lot of folks that are in this industry have really succeeded growing in the basement, growing in the backyard, growing on a couple acres. Well, things change dramatically when you expand that to 500 acres. Similarly, just because you can– If you think you’re a big grow crop farmer. I grow flax seed and I can switch to hemp seed, easy peasy. Right?

There are some differences, but I think there’s a lot of potential for research coming from the state ag schools, the A&Ms of the world that are really doing a ton of work unfortunately of course, industry wants that to happen yesterday. Everybody wants to know how many pounds per acre of nitrogen should I put on this, how much water does it need, how much— And in a way, I think what works against cannabis and what works against hemp is its own versatility.

What I mean by that is if you’re growing, again, a plant for fiber, it’s going to be taller than a house, you’re going to plant it very densely, and it has totally different needs than if you’re growing kind of a boutique— something for a good looking flower that you want to cure and sell like tobacco. Those are in some ways like entirely different plant cycles and entirely different needs. I think ag researchers are interested or getting on it. I just think it’s going to take some time and it’s real frustrating.

I remember being at the University of Kentucky a couple of years back, and they were talking about the problem of shattering. If you don’t know what that is, shattering is when a plant makes a seed and it drops it whenever it wants not when the farmer wants it. And when that happens, of course, birds and other critters come in and have a buffet, and it can be real frustrating if you’re trying to grow a seed like say you want to make a granola or something. You want to sell a seed product, right?

And I remember at the University of Kentucky, they were testing different plants to see about their shattering issues, and they said, “You know what? This shattering has been bred out of other plants so long ago. We don’t know how they did it.” Which is a really interesting thing to think about other seed like flax or canola or those kinds of things. They’re like, we bred this out of them so long ago, we have no idea. So, we’re kind of starting from scratch with the plant that has just frankly been ignored by modern agronomy, it’s been ignored by modern science, and so we’ve got a long way to go. It’s a really exciting work though.

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Another just really cool thing to see is just how many new farmers, young farmers, farmers of color are interested in this market. And boy, you see nothing but old white guys dying off every day in traditional agriculture, and boy they are– I mean I would say, traditional old time farmers that you might think of the most conservative people on earth, could not be more excited about seeing all these new faces, excited about farming, exciting to put seeds in the ground, to put clones in the ground. There’s an incredible excitement about where this is going to take agriculture as a whole in the United States.

It means a ton, and you know it means a ton especially to tobacco farmers who will tell you, frankly, “You know, I grew my granddaddy and my daddy growing things that killed people. It is so great to be growing something that’s helping people.” Not that you know, they’re obviously— tobacco was profitable and lots of people were okay growing it. I think that there would still be a thriving tobacco industry today. If it weren’t for we know that it kills you. But yeah, the just the change of dynamic of we’re doing something cool and interesting. I would jokingly say if you’re at a party and you meet someone who is a corn farmer, you’re like, “Okay, but if you meet someone who’s a hemp farmer, that’s the most interesting person in the room, and farmers are not used to that. So, it is really an exciting time.

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Cannabis grows well where tobacco grows well. They’re very similar plants and they have good water for it, they have good soil for it, they have kind of the infrastructure to grow, cure, and dry a flower. So, they really are positioned to play a huge role in the emerging the hemp economy, and of course, what will come next which is the national marijuana economy. And then, you see it’s basically everybody doing what they do best.

I think fiber production and seed production are broadly going to come from the upper Midwest. If you’re familiar with Canada at all, you know that most hemp comes from the prairie provinces like Manitoba, Saskatchewan. So, you see these enormous progress in North Dakota and Montana really doing a lot with seed production.

Again, they’re used to growing things like flax and canola. What’s really interesting for me to watch I think is the West coast. You would think because California is kind of the OG cannabis pioneer. They were the first to authorize medical mari– They still have almost no commercial hemp production, so they’re fascinating to watch. They’re hung up of course on these concerns about cross-pollination and will a marijuana farmer, outdoor farmer, be hurt if a guy next door sets up a hemp shop.

You also see some interesting developments in the upper West coast in Washington and Oregon saying, “Shouldn’t we put hemp products in the same kind of pesticide testing that we put marijuana products through?” Right now, pretty much any– If you’re in a legal state that has any kind of marijuana production, the burden is to get into that are way higher than hemp. Most places, you’ve got to pay a few hundred bucks to grow some hemp, you’ve got to pay for the THC testing. That’s about it.

Boy, if you are growing cannabis, you have to abide by some wonky seed to sale thing, you’ve got to account for every plant, you have to pay taxes 50 times before it even gets to the store, your employees have to all be vetted and checked, and just all the red tape that folks have to go through in marijuana does not really apply to hemp anywhere except the West coast. So, we’re seeing how that is playing out in the profitability of this plant. So, I think that’s one interesting thing to watch. Does that spread East? Wanting to say okay, hemp needs to go through the same kind of testing standards we put our marijuana through. That’s an interesting question.

I also am really intrigued by a trend I’m seeing again only in the Southeast, really, which is smokable hemp. You have a lot of farmers in North Carolina and in Kentucky who are basically growing it much like tobacco; growing it for the flowing, drying it. It looks real pretty, looks frankly exactly like marijuana and people getting pretty smoking it that way for pre-rolls.
I remember years ago interviewing someone talking about smokable hemp in Switzerland. And I just said, “Oh that sounds so European like Sherlock Holmes with a pipe in front of a fireplace, like real people— That’s never going to catch on here.” But it really has. Smokable hemp really has come on now even seeing chewable hemp like a dip. I think this is more popular in the Southeast. I don’t see it in Colorado almost anywhere. But that’s something that’s going to be fascinating to watch.

Another thing, a market trend that this industry is really seeing, and I think will only accelerate, is this plant, the cannabis plant coming out of kind of the head shop dispensary collective kind of specialty retail, and going into your average grocery store, your average retail experience or buying it online the way you buy other things. It’s going to be increasingly less just where you buy smoking accessories or it’s going to look more like any other ingredient that you could buy at the grocery store or buy your big box retail.

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Of course, I think it’s exciting, but I think the new states and the federal government are just realizing what cannabis people have known all along which is, it’s the same plant. The only way to tell the THC content of a cannabis bud is to run it through a spectrometer. And so, you’re seeing in all kinds of new states who authorized hemp imagining that okay farmers are all going to start making the rope and soap model I say. Oh, we’re going to– And that’s not what they’re doing. They’re growing it for flower, the higher value, and it’s— and people are using it’s sort of like they used marijuana. Smoking it, putting it in foods and eating it for a calming sensation or to help the way they feel as a wellness product.

And I think that has taken a lot of states. A lot of you see this happen in Texas, it’s happening in Florida where prosecutors are saying, “Oh my goodness, we have no- what we can’t even tell, we can’t- how are we supposed to tell the difference between marijuana and hemp?” And that is frankly why they banned hemp production in the first place. You’re asking county health inspectors and county extension agents to go around with scientific equipment trying to determine okay is this plant is it hemp or is it marijuana. I mean that’s a that’s a big lift for government to do.

As you probably know, the THC or cannabinoid content of a cannabis plant can change throughout its life cycle. Just like…well it’s like saying how much estrogen does a female need before she’s a woman. It’s like okay, the government can set a standard but it’s a stupid standard. It changes over the course of your life, and this is a huge problem for producers. Because you have folks who are maybe following all the rules, you do the testing, you make sure there’s not too much THC. Then you put on a truck to ship it to wherever, because you’re guaranteed interstate commerce, put on a truck and the gates gets pulled over three states later, it’s been on an air conditioned truck and now it’s hot – meaning it has too much THC. Well, are you in trouble, are you arrested? It’s a real challenge. I think where this country will land, in my opinion, is realizing, “You know what? This is stupid. It’s all legal.”

But that’s what I think. But you’re seeing states, local officers really struggle to tell the difference and really throwing up their hands and being mad about it. I do think we’re going to see progress in some easier hand-held ways for a law enforcement officer to tell the difference between hemp and marijuana. But I do think ultimately, that’s all a waste of money because it’ll all be legal and it’s kind of silly.

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I would say that one cool thing about smokable hemp, and that we’re also learning about marijuana, is just what you said. There is a perception that you are either stone cold sober or blotto out of your mind. Well, just like you could have a glass of wine and still take care of your children, still work, still be a functioning brain. You’re not, you know, a blithering idiot on the side of the road. There’s definitely levels. Similarly, even the highest THC marijuana can be used responsibly or it’s not a– One, hemp is clean and not bad but marijuana is bad and terrible and makes you a raving moron. No, it’s like anything else. Plants to use lots of different ways and you’re right. We allow people to drink and there’s a responsible way and irresponsible way. Certainly, can be not good for your health but it can also be good for your health. So, I think that’s really the way to think of it.

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The head of the FDA’s CBD review committee was talking to the United States Senate about this very topic just a little bit ago, and she made an interesting point. We try to do so much work with other foods and products that we take about how much is too much. Right? How much Vitamin C do you need, what’s your daily allowance of this, that, and the other? But when it comes to CBD, even though we think oh it’s harmless, she said we don’t know— what if you wake up and it’s in your breakfast cereal, then you put it on in a face cream, then you wash with a wash that has it and you’re just eating it all day long. How much is— We don’t know what level is too much and maybe consumers do need to know.

You have kind of a sense. Like Ibuprofen is a product that’s perfectly legal and people take all the time, give it to their children, but you probably have a sense you shouldn’t take 10 of these an hour. But we don’t have any kind of dosing guidance for cannabis and I do think that consumers and the public really deserve that, but it’s work that is being done. It’s just not here yet.

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When see states like New York, states like New Jersey and other really see themselves as production. I mean as processing hubs, not production hubs, processing hubs just like most of the food you put your mouth probably weren’t grown in New England. Similar, but there is manufacturing capacity like nowhere else and you’re seeing New York State put incredible investments into the production processing hub side of things.

New Jersey just passed a bill to really expand production for processing there and their analysts talked at length about how much access to seaports, access to highway infrastructure on the second to none and having really in the population base. Everybody wants to get stuff to consumers and you’ve got a lot of people into England. And so, there’s a lot of interest there, too.

I also think what’s interesting speaking just about Vermont. Vermont is the first state to really look at grading hemp, similar to how you have Grade A beef versus Prime beef. You have all different kinds of government levels or maple syrup or any corn, wheat, anything. There’s grades that are set by the government, so you can know how much should you pay for how much Grade A beef wholesale.

I think this is coming to hemp. I think it’s starting in Vermont. I think it’s something that would really help the farmers, and something that would frankly help the whole supply chain. Because right now, you hear nothing but complaints from people who thought they were getting one kind of product, and then put seeds in the ground and did not get that, what they thought they were going to get. And struggle to find buyers or sellers complaining that I thought I was getting this and I got this crap.

So, I really do think the way to success in New England from production standpoint is going to— having that grain, having that quality staying that people can expect. I also do think with some investment from the government, like you’re seeing in New York State, to really invest in processing hubs.

Again, the biggest cannabis company in the world right now is Canopy. That’s a Canadian outfit that just had a multi-billion dollar raise last year. A lot of Canadian companies are getting into the US through hemp and they chose New York State for their first big processing hub. They recognize that again this access to the population market and the manufacturing expertise of New England has really positioned it to really shine— not necessarily in growing the most hemp but in really being the best place to profit from it.

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I know hemp folks saying a long time ago, again, when it was illegal saying, “You know what keeps me up at night, it’s not the DEA, it’s the FDA.” So, we’re going to see, I think we’re all just kind of waiting with bated breath to see what the feds tell us about how this product can be used.

I was just on a call with one of the biggest companies in the space about where– And they were asked by Merrill Lynch and the big money analysts, “What do you guys hear from the FDA?” No one knows.

I am sick— I am sick of seeing headlines about FDA cracking down. Because what you see there are thousands of cannabis companies, and a periodically, the FDA will send kind of a nastygram to somebody saying oh scrub your website then they scrub. No one’s in jail over this stuff and I don’t know- and the market has kind of accepted the FDAs guidance on this. Everybody wants FDA regulations but this industry isn’t certainly waiting for the FDA to tell them what they can do.

So, I don’t think there is a big national crackdown. I think you’re— kind of fears are overblown. I think there’s a lot of excitement in the space. I also think you can’t separate the growth of the cannabis industry, especially when it comes to ones— you can’t really separate that from growing distrust of a traditional pharmaceuticals. I think the American consumer— Maybe a generation ago, people— think of a big drug company. A generation ago, people might have thought wake up every day and try to make people healthier. And they still do that, I think. But the perception of the big pharmaceutical industry is they don’t care about you, they’re just out to make a buck.

And so, people are seeking— It is not necessarily this is superior medicine to other medicines that are tested and can do lots of great things for you. But there’s definitely a perception that people want to move away from that or people want to find an alternative, and I think that’s an exciting thing to watch. We’ll see the influence that the pharmaceutical industry has over cannabis. They are certainly watching with interest, and they see the potential here. They’re investing big money in it, but I think that’s going to be the next thing to watch is the kind of influence that the pharmaceutical industry has on this.

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I was interested, recently, the FDA was asking for public comments about CBD. I thought it was interesting how many people asked the FDA, “Can you please make CBD cheaper? Just as you say, “Oh the American farm is getting all these great profits and they’re getting profits that far exceed what they can get for corn and wheat and soybeans.” Well, do you think that cannabis medicine should cost $100 a bottle or $60 a bottle? There is a price pressure here too, but you’re right. I think when you can put it compared to a lot of pharmaceuticals, it’s just astronomical.

There was a lot of thought— You know, we have one FDA approved cannabis medicine is a medication called Epidiolex for kids with certain kinds of seizures. This medication cost somewhere like $30,000 a year. However, insurance covers it. So, if you’ve got a sick kid, you might, again, want to take your health into maybe your own hands; grow it at the backyard, use someone that makes their own oil. But you also might want kind of a pharmaceutical option that your insurance covers. So, yes, the price pressure and health care is just overwhelming and that is driving people to try to take control of their own health through this medicine.

Kathryn Blume: And that my friends is it for this episode of Unhidden. I’m your host Kathryn Blume. Thanks to Kristen Nichols and everyone on our newly expanded team at Heady Vermont: Erin Doble, Monica Donovan, Christina Hall, Kelly McDowell, Karen Santorello, and, ever and always, Luna the Wonder Dog. Thanks also to West End Blend for our energizing theme song and to Wild Weeds for the incidental music.

You can find Heady Vermont on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, iTunes, and at Heady Vermont.com. Look for the Unhidden Podcast at Sound Cloud, iTunes, and where ever fine podcasts are sold. We’ll see you next time.

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